Members of Aberdeenshire UNISON were on hand to ask elected members to sign up to UNISON’s “No Compulsory Redundancies” campaign as they arrived at Woodhill House for this year’s budget meeting on Thursday 11th February.
The branch has welcomed Aberdeenshire Council’s public commitment to no outsourcing of services and no compulsory redundancies, but has warned that non-filling of vacancies and the ending of temporary contracts could have the same effect.
Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said, “We were delighted that a high number of elected members signed UNISON’s pledge cards.
“The council agrees that its most important resource is its staff and we welcome the commitment Aberdeenshire Council has made publicly to no compulsory redundancies and no outsourcing of services.”
Inez Teece, Branch Secretary added, “We also recognise that these are very challenging times for councils, doing their best to maintain vital services in the face of cuts passed on from Westminster and the budget settlement to local authorities from the Scottish Government.
“We have called on the council to do all it can to protect the vital services that it provides to all its citizens, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, but we know that £28 million cannot be saved without it impacting on services to the public.
“Non-filling of vacancies and the ending of temporary contracts will put further pressure on already hard pressed staff and services will suffer. These are job cuts by any other name,” added Inez.
The branch has also warned that increased charges for services will hit the lowest paid and poorest citizens the hardest as they are the ones who tend to use council services the most and also have less disposable income.
The branch had also sent a briefing to all elected members earlier in the week.